Oscar Valdez is excited and ready to battle Shakur Stevenson tonight in their super featherweight unification fight on ESPN at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.
After having to listen to WBO 130-lb champion Stevenson (17-0, 9 KOs) repeatedly label him as a ducker for months, WBC champion Valdez (30-0, 23 KOs) is ready to prove to him and the boxing fans that he was never afraid to take this fight.
Valdez vs. Stevenson will be shown on ESPN+ and ESPN tonight. The event kicks off at 10:00 p.m. ET.
The winner of the Valdez-Stevenson fight will be on an express trip to the top and could soon become a pay-per-view star.
While Stevenson, 24, is expected to come out victorious tonight, he will need to be a little more daring on offense if he wants to take full advantage of his win.
Stevenson’s typical potshotting style will not be enough to excite the boxing fans. Nowadays, it takes more than using the dull Mayweather-esque hit & run style to build genuine interest from fans.
They’ve gotten accustomed to watching exciting fighters like Canelo Alvarez and Gennadiy Golovkin.
The old potshot style of fighting that Mayweather utilized won’t be enough for Stevenson to become a star, regardless if he comes out victorious.
It’s not just about winning. It’s HOW you win, and Stevenson is going to need to step it up to impress fans that prefer to see back & forth action rather than the tired Mayweather potshot routine that put fans asleep, resulting in many feeling ripped off after purchasing his PPV fights
It’s not a good sign that Shakur has been saying all week that he’s just going to box, and not get hit by Valdez on Saturday. If Stevenson is serious, it suggests that he’s not listening to the boxing public, and is resistant to change.
Stevenson will miss the bus, and fail to become a pay-per-view star the way Mayweather did. You can argue the Mayweather play-it-say style had it’s day, and it no longer interest fans, who become spoiled by seeing exciting fighters that entertain like Canelo.
If Mayweather were just starting out now, he’d likely be ignored because his fighting style was too boring to set himself apart. Stevenson might be in the same boat unless he changes things up tonight and transform himself into an all-action fighter.
In the chief support, 2020 U.S Olympic silver medalist Keyshawn Davis (4-0, 3 KOs) will face Esteban Sanchez (18-1, 8 KOs) in an eight-round fight.
“You have said, ‘I’m going to show the world why Oscar has been ducking me.’ He’s fighting you now; why are you saying he’s ducking you?” said Max Kellerman at Top Rank Boxing to Shakur Stevenson.
“I’m saying that he’s ducking me because I feel like he’s been ducking me,” said Shakur Stevenson about Valdez. “We’re here now; we fight tomorrow. The duck talk is over; it’s time to fight.”
“Oscar, what do you say when you hear that you were ducking?” said Kellerman.
“Well, that was never the case. As I said before, the fight was made when it was supposed to be made,” Valdez said about his unification match against 24-year-old Shakur.
“Right now, we’re both two-time world champions, and the fans want to see it. I owe myself to the fans. If the fans want to see it, I’m here now to give them what they want,” said Valdez.
“Oscar, you said you took it personally that your boxing brethren believed what Shakur claimed,” Kellerman said. “When you say that, you mean other fighters around the sport, fight fans? What do you mean by that?”
“No, this fight is personal for me because every fight is very important in the fact that people were thinking that I was scared of fighting anybody,” said Valdez. “It just turned personal for me because I’ve never feared any fighter out there.
“I’ve been fighting inside and outside of the ring ever since I was a little kid, and I would never be afraid of fighting nobody. So I’m here now, and I’m just excited about stepping in the ring on April 30th,” said Valdez.